Oil Report

Gazprom says agrees 2008 gas price with Uzbekistan

MOSCOW, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom GAZP.MM has agreed on 2008 gas import prices with Uzbekistan, the firm said on Thursday, effectively removing the last obstacle for smooth supplies from Central Asia next year.

Last month, Uzbekistan asked Gazprom to pay more for its gas after Gazprom agreed to raise payment by 30 percent to another major Central Asia producer, Turkmenistan, which now charges $130 per 1,000 cubic metres.

Uzbekistan charged $100 in 2007. But Gazprom did not say how much it would pay in 2008 for Uzbek gas.

“The purchase price was brought in line with the regional market conditions,” Gazprom said in a statement.

Uzbek, Turkmen and Kazakh gas helps Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, cover gas demand in Russia, the former Soviet Union and Europe amid stagnant output in Siberia.

Gazprom usually uses gas from Central Asia to supply Ukraine and a spike in Turkmen gas prices has already led to a 38 percent price rise for Kiev, which will pay $179.50 from the New Year.

By comparison, Gazprom charges Europe, which buys a quarter of its gas from Russia, an average of $260 and expects prices to rise to over $350 next year.

Uzbekistan produced 62 bcm of gas last year and exported 12.6 bcm, including 9 bcm to Gazprom. Turkmenistan sells much bigger volumes to Gazprom, exceeding 50 bcm a year. (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by Peter Blackburn)